Oktober 1st, 2016

Surfing – Jim Heimann

Posted in bücher by Dolf

Taschen, Hohenzollerring 53, 50672 Köln, www.taschen.com


This is the ultimate book about the history of surfing. Period. The sheer format is hard to beat: 32,5 x 8,7 x 48,7 cm with almost 600 pages the hardcover book weights clearly more then five kilos. Nice the fat bookmark with the cut out surfboard glued to it or the 160 cm double foldout that shows the evolution of the surfboard. There is over 900 amazing images, mostly photos, but also posters, stickers, art and other authentic s from over 200 years of surf culture. In late 1778 James Cook and his crew where probably the first Westerners that got in contact with surfing in Hawaii (people did surf long before that…) – that is basically where the book begins. First chapter about the emergence of a sport: 1778 – 1945, followed by 1946 – 1961 where more and more people started to surf, 1962 – 1969 when it became really fashionable, 1970 – 1986 the industry got big, closing with the final chapter 1987 – 2015 as surfing and its culture finally took off. In this chronological order you learn everything about the history of surfing.

The original boards for example had no fin and only with the invention of the leash modern surfing became possible as it is today. Find out why some people wanted to do contests, while others where boycotting them. About surf gangs or violent behavior of „locals only“ surfers that „defend“ their surf spots. How the rivalry of the continents (America and Australia) came about. Wanna see some of the clothes that people wore – you can. Learn about the different materials of the board, what kind of techniques the board shapers developed – all here. Surf Music – of course. There is so many aspects of the surf culture, it is unbelievable they are all touched here, some more than others, but always enough to form a solid picture of the evolution. You will not be disappointed to read this. And if you only want to look – there is so many amazing photos from surfers – obviously mostly on waves, but also off. Great shots from beaches and coasts from around the world, some are double spreads others just one page (remember the size, one page is 32,5 x 48,7 cm!). Surfboards, houses, storage, contests, beach scenes, color, black & white…. you will not be disappointed to look at this. Nowadays it is estimated there is approx. 20 million active surfers out there and very many fans. That has created a huge industry around it, producing boards, gear and tons of apparel, be it surf shorts, t-shirts or wetsuits. Whenever capitalism comes in the game alot gets destroyed, of the original spirit and in this case the coolness of the surfer. Heimann also writes about that and other negative aspects of surfing becoming the mainstream sport it is now, since that unfortunately is also part of the history. One of the best and at the same time worst photos is a picture of Dede Suryana, surfing a tube in Java, Indonesia in 2013 taken by Zak Noyle. Apart from being a really strong surf shot that shows the surfer on the wave surrounded by water (it just formed a tube), the clear/green water is polluted with plastic and other dirt surrounding the surfer also. Seems Surfrider Foundation and other environmental organizations, but especially the humans, unfortunately still have a long way to go for clean oceans. I could tell you now about the surfer covered in oil, after a oil spill or about…. but I would tell you for pages about how great this book is. It comes with a german/french translation magazine which is good, since you can not read this book like a normal book. This is as close as one can get to surfing without getting wet… And while the book is certainly worth the price, not everybody will be able to afford 150.- Euro for a book, so lets hope Taschen also publishes a smaller version of the book at a reduced rate in the future. That will also have no problem to find a place on any bookshelf….Meanwhile enjoy this wonderful creation of a surf-compendium. (dolf)
Isbn 978-3836537568

[Trust # 179 August 2016]

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